Home Research & Education University of Utah Team Wins Competition for 3D Printed Heat Sink Design

University of Utah Team Wins Competition for 3D Printed Heat Sink Design

The University of Utah student team has emerged victorious from the 2023 IEEE/EPS ASME K-16 Student Heat Sink Design Challenge.

The competition calls for the design of an additively manufactured aluminum heat sink with natural convection. The team, consisting of Preston Bodily, Taylor Cox, Chandler Elliott, Zach Julien and Xander Lehnardt, was mentored by Dr. Samira Shiri, Dr. Tianli Feng and Dr. Sameer Rao.

After brainstorming and testing, they decided on the X-tent design, which optimizes the convective boundary layer. They used ANSYS Fluent to better estimate the Figure of Merit (FOM) and to identify and remove unnecessary mass, as well as to add surfaces to enhance natural convection.

The Utah group was selected as a semi-finalist in the competition and was allowed to fabricate their heat sink using 3D printing by GE Additive. After experimental testing, conducted by the University of Southern Denmark, they were named finalists and competed at the ITherm conference with teams from Texas A&M and TU Berlin.

The Utah team was ultimately named the winner based on experimentally determined FOM, effective use of additive manufacturing, and presentation skills at the conference. This is the second win for the University of Utah Department of Mechanical Engineering team in this competition, following an initial win in 2020.

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